WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska,
today highlighted the fundamental differences between the
United States and China in measuring which country is
leading the race to develop alternative energy
(Click for video of Murkowski's full opening statement)
"We hear claims that the United States is somehow 'falling
behind' China in a 'clean energy race.' In so many ways, we
are not falling behind. From the wages and conditions for
our workers to our environmental standards and capacity for
innovation, the United States is leading," Murkowski said.
Murkowski's comments came during Thursday's hearing before
the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on
America's competitiveness with China in developing "clean"
"We can and should work with China to make progress on our
energy challenges. But we should not merely copy what they
do or how they do it. Imitating China is not the best way
to compete with China," Murkowski said. "This is
particularly true for energy technology subsidies as we
work to get our debt under control. I have long advocated
for funding clean tech research efforts with revenues from
conventional energy. This is far more sustainable than the
approach taken by China."
While many have complained that America is losing the clean
energy race to China, Dr. Derek Scissors, a senior research
fellow at the Heritage Foundation, testified that the
United States is indeed winning the innovation battle.
(Click to play video)
"Most people would say spending more money is bad unless
you get something for it - and the Chinese aren't,"
Scissors said. "We want to save money, we want to spend as
little as possible and do as well as possible.… We started
with clean energy because we were concerned with carbon
emissions…. The U.S. is doing pretty well and China is
For all the talk of China's advances in clean energy
manufacturing, the country is struggling with environmental
challenges. Murkowski said this experience should serve as
a cautionary tale against trying to create a clean energy
sector through government mandates. "The unfortunate irony
of all this is that America has often relied upon the
cheaper, dirtier manufacturing practices of China in order
to affordably comply with requirements we've imposed on
ourselves for cleaner, pricier energy here at home,"